Court opinions

COA judge: Parole board 'should do better'

March 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who killed no one but who’s been in prison for almost 40 years for a felony murder conviction was entitled to a more thorough parole board review than one based on a 13-year-old psychological evaluation, a Court of Appeals judge wrote Friday.
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Steak n Shake parent wins court victory amid proxy challenge

March 20, 2015
IBJ Staff
Biglari Holdings Inc. has won a major legal victory as a separate fight with a dissident shareholder turns personal. A lawsuit brought by shareholders of the Steak n Shake parent accusing CEO Sardar Biglari and directors of breaching their fiduciary duties has been dismissed by a federal judge in Indiana.
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Reversal: Ex-AM General exec must go to court for compensation

March 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
The ex-president, CEO and chairman of South Bend Humvee maker AM General will have to go to court to seek cash compensation that the company instead paid in the form of a promissory note, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Justices reverse Marine veteran's involuntary commitment

March 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Marine veteran was wrongly committed for mental health treatment, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday. Justices reversed a trial court involuntary commitment order affirmed in a memorandum Court of Appeals opinion and swept away precedent in similar cases.
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COA affirms finding liquor stores violated rules on home delivery of wine

March 19, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reinstated the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission’s final order fining a northern Indiana liquor store company for using common carriers to transport wine to customers, which is a violation of its liquor permit.
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COA: Husband’s motion to set aside divorce decree time-barred

March 19, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because the type of fraud a man alleged his ex-wife committed is considered “ordinary,” it was subject to the one-year time limit of Indiana Trial Rule 60(B)(3), the Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The judges affirmed the refusal of the trial court to set aside a 2008 dissolution decree.
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Evidence properly admitted in OWI trial

March 19, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Evidence discovered after law enforcement approached an intoxicated man’s minivan parked in a driveway was properly admitted at his trial over the defendant’s objections, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed, finding no violations of the U.S. or state constitutions.
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State failed to prove inmate knew he made false statements

March 19, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because the state could not establish that a Marion County Jail inmate knew statements he made to a witness over the phone in another inmate’s case were false, the state didn’t prove Johnny Gomillia committed attempted obstruction of justice.
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Joint defense agreement does not prevent trust from suing attorney

March 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
On interlocutory appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that a joint defense agreement entered into by an attorney and the trust he helped to set up and for which he served as trustee did not bar the trust’s later lawsuit against him for claims arising from their business relationship.
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Justices affirm brother committed 3 separate breaches of contract

March 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court agreed with the Court of Appeals on Tuesday that a man who purchased three properties outside of the joint business with his brother breached a noncompetition agreement with respect to all three properties.
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Justices dismiss Ball State from mother’s action seeking college expenses from ex-husband

March 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Ball State University should not have been added as a supplemental defendant in a woman’s petition to modify child support and seek postsecondary expenses from her ex-husband for her daughter, the Indiana Supreme Court held Wednesday.
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COA affirms stalking conviction of man who followed teen in stores

March 17, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A southern Indiana man who followed the same teenage girl through two stores on separate occasions, staying as close as five feet to her at all times, could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his felony conviction for stalking needed to be overturned.
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Tax Court lacks jurisdiction to hear casino’s claim

March 17, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court on Monday dismissed a northern Indiana casino’s appeal of the LaPorte County treasurer’s failure to refund paid innkeeper’s tax, finding the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.
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Judge incorrectly considered acquitted charges in denying expungement petition

March 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Facts from an incident that do not result in a felony conviction cannot be taken into consideration by a judge when determining a person is disqualified from filing for mandatory expungement of a different felony conviction resulting from the same incident, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday.
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Mother’s due process rights deprived in termination hearing

March 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
In finding both constitutional and statutory guarantees were transgressed, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the decision by a lower court to convert an omnibus hearing on a termination of parental rights matter into a final hearing while mother was not present, which led to the termination of her parental rights.
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TIF funds can’t be used to maintain parks, COA affirms

March 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a Lake County trial court ruling that tax increment financing funds used in the redevelopment of Munster parks could not be used to later maintain the parks.
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Judges affirm drug dealer’s convictions but vacate portion of sentence

March 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claims that his convictions stemming from his involvement in a drug dealing operation should be overturned, but the judges did vacate the conditions of his supervised release Friday.
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Man’s right to speedy trial not violated, 7th Circuit says

March 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The speedy-trial clock did not begin to run upon the federal government’s filing of a complaint and detainer against an Indiana man, so the 16-month delay in filing the federal indictment did not violate his right to a speedy trial, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Thursday.
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COA: Trial court lacked authority to rescind plea agreement

March 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a Howard Superior judge to sentence a man to the terms of the plea agreement that he had entered into on drug charges before the judge revoked the agreement and ordered him to continue to trial.
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Ex-husband needed to take action to modify judgment, COA rules

March 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man challenging the proposed value of his pension’s surviving spouse benefit in a dissolution proceeding had to file his own Ind. Trial Rule 60(B) motion and not rely on the same motion filed by his ex-wife, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Trial court incorrectly determined company could collect all delinquent taxes

March 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a $1.4 million judgment in favor of a company hired by Lake County to collect delinquent real property taxes, finding the lower court improperly interpreted the collections contracts as a matter of law.
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Justices remand dental office fire insurance dispute

March 12, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Thursday reset the issues before a trial court in a dispute arising from a shortage in contents insurance after a fire at a dental office.
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Judge urges legislators to clarify Castle Doctrine statute

March 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals in a case of first impression reversed a man’s conviction of battery on a law enforcement officer after finding he exercised reasonable force under I.C. 35-41-3-2(i)(2), the statute revised in response to a 2011 Supreme Court holding that the Castle Doctrine is not a defense to battery or another violent act on a police officer. But one judge asked the Legislature to take another look at the statute for public policy reasons.
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COA affirms policy provides property damage coverage for abandoned sand

March 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed its original decision Wednesday that an insurance policy covers property damage caused by 100,000 tons of foundry sand on property owned by FLM LLC.
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Public defender’s brief stricken, COA orders ‘competent counsel’ appointed

March 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reiterated Wednesday for at least the fourth time in seven years to a public defender that he cannot use the “manifestly unreasonable” argument to challenge a client’s voluntary manslaughter sentence.
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  1. People have heard of Magna Carta, and not the Provisions of Oxford & Westminster. Not that anybody really cares. Today, it might be considered ethnic or racial bias to talk about the "Anglo Saxon common law." I don't even see the word English in the blurb above. Anyhow speaking of Edward I-- he was famously intolerant of diversity himself viz the Edict of Expulsion 1290. So all he did too like making parliament a permanent institution-- that all must be discredited. 100 years from now such commemorations will be in the dustbin of history.

  2. Oops, I meant discipline, not disciple. Interesting that those words share such a close relationship. We attorneys are to be disciples of the law, being disciplined to serve the law and its source, the constitutions. Do that, and the goals of Magna Carta are advanced. Do that not and Magna Carta is usurped. Do that not and you should be disciplined. Do that and you should be counted a good disciple. My experiences, once again, do not reveal a process that is adhering to the due process ideals of Magna Carta. Just the opposite, in fact. Braveheart's dying rebel (for a great cause) yell comes to mind.

  3. It is not a sign of the times that many Ind licensed attorneys (I am not) would fear writing what I wrote below, even if they had experiences to back it up. Let's take a minute to thank God for the brave Baron's who risked death by torture to tell the government that it was in the wrong. Today is a career ruination that whistleblowers risk. That is often brought on by denial of licenses or disciple for those who dare speak truth to power. Magna Carta says truth rules power, power too often claims that truth matters not, only Power. Fight such power for the good of our constitutional republics. If we lose them we have only bureaucratic tyranny to pass onto our children. Government attorneys, of all lawyers, should best realize this and work to see our patrimony preserved. I am now a government attorney (once again) in Kansas, and respecting the rule of law is my passion, first and foremost.

  4. I have dealt with more than a few I-465 moat-protected government attorneys and even judges who just cannot seem to wrap their heads around the core of this 800 year old document. I guess monarchial privileges and powers corrupt still ..... from an academic website on this fantastic "treaty" between the King and the people ... "Enduring Principles of Liberty Magna Carta was written by a group of 13th-century barons to protect their rights and property against a tyrannical king. There are two principles expressed in Magna Carta that resonate to this day: "No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land." "To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice." Inspiration for Americans During the American Revolution, Magna Carta served to inspire and justify action in liberty’s defense. The colonists believed they were entitled to the same rights as Englishmen, rights guaranteed in Magna Carta. They embedded those rights into the laws of their states and later into the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution ("no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.") is a direct descendent of Magna Carta's guarantee of proceedings according to the "law of the land." http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_carta/

  5. I'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

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